The Ideal Backpacker DSLR Camera Setup!

DSLR Setup

I know a lot of people will opt out of carrying a DSLR on a thru-hike and just utilize something like an iPhone or a GoPro. I absolutely want my Canon with me for this thru-hike for multiple reasons. No way I could not have it. So I have been driving myself a little crazy trying to figure out what the “ideal” DSLR camera setup is without packing on a ton of extra weight. I think I have found the perfect setup and solutions.

Camera Case:

osprey camera case

PHOTO CREDIT: Osprey Website



I have been going back and forth with this. Do I just use a dry bag or a legit case? The “Osprey Ultralight Case” is the case I decided I am going with. I love the fact that this case straps onto the front of you by hooking onto your backpack straps. This way you can literally open the case and shoot. I really like the fact that this case is on the front of you as opposed to the side or waist. Although it can strap to your waist if you prefer or onto the compression straps. I can also fit an extra lens in here. Weight is 7.2 oz.

Cost: $24.99

Full Size Tripod Weighing 153 Grams:

Trekking Pole Tripod

PHOTO CREDIT: TrailPix Website


My husband has been messing around with bungees and our LEKI poles trying to come up with some type of stable tripod. We were not very successful. I really did not want to add a tripod to my gear list or any extra weight. I hit up Google and found the perfect solution, “The TrailPix.” This fantastic gadget uses the ends of your trekking poles, and an accessory pole, to create a tripod. It weights a whopping 153 grams. Then a ball head is used to adjust the orientation of your camera 360 degrees, portrait or landscape.


PHOTO CREDIT: TrailPix Website


Cost: $40 add $20 for the accessory pole add $15-$25 for the ball head.

LEKI Sierra Monopod Pole:

leki-sierra-trekking pole

PHOTO CREDIT: Leki Website


I will not be using these poles but also thought it was a really neat option and wanted to share it. LEKI makes a monopod Antishock trekking pole. The “Sierra Antishock” is a solid, high strength model. The wooden knob can be unscrewed to expose a threading for a camera or our Y-Sight attachment. The Sierra also comes with a Rubber Tip Attachment included.

You need trekking poles anyways so might as well make good use of them for photographs too!

Cost: $89.99

Hopefully these items will help out my fellow backpacking photography enthusiest! If you have any other lightweight solutions I would love to hear them, comment below!

Happy Adventuring,


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Comments 5

  • Beetle : Feb 17th

    Hi Jessica, thanks for posting. I too want to hike with my DSLR. I am currently using a Keyhole Camera Harness (, and I love it… but it doesn’t provide any protection from the elements, and doesn’t attach very well to an Osprey pack, so I’m really interested in the Osprey Ultralight Case. Unfortunately, I can’t find any pictures online of how it attaches to the pack, or how high it rides on your chest, or how much it sticks out in front. (As a well-endowed woman, those last two are essential considerations!) Can you post some photos of the case in use?

    • Bushy : Feb 20th

      I agree with Beetle, cannot find any photos of how the case connects to the “front” of the pack instead of the side. We a 200mm lens on our camera, what is the depth of the case please? Super you posted this info on the case, I was told I was stupid for wanting to take such a heavy camera on the trail…I will do without clothes to take my camera! Just kidding…

    • Marietta Jones : Mar 19th

      Did anyone ever find out more about this case? I emailed Osprey and I’ll call later today if they don’t get back to me, but it is a bit irritating that there aren’t really specs for it online. I’m bringing my Fujifilm XT1 in the beginning and I’m not sure if the Large or Extra Large would be better for it… Only one lens. Still. Let me know if anyone has heard anything!

  • Andrew Christian Repp : Feb 17th

    Also of note for people who either don’t have DSLRs but want something comparable yet light, or for people who have a DSLR and just are not willing to haul that weight – a Micro 4/3 camera is something good to look into. You can find good deals on Amazon or Adorama on discontinued models (I recently got a Sony NEX-5T, weighs 9oz, and I love it).

    • Jessica : Feb 18th

      I was wondering about these! I have never personally used one but they look really awesome. And 9oz is an awesome lightweight option.


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